The Ultimate Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics.

By: Allison Robicelli
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Opener_TheUltimateFriendsgiving_LiptonTea4_H

Opener_TheUltimateFriendsgiving_LiptonTea4_H

Friendsgiving Opener for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones. This is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics. No one will mind if Grandma’s famous mushroom-soup casserole isn’t on the table. These new-school recipes are not only showstoppers, but they’re perfect for a potluck celebration where everyone can pitch in to create a festive dinner to remember.

AllisonRobicelli_BrieCranberryAndProsciuttoBites_H

AllisonRobicelli_BrieCranberryAndProsciuttoBites_H

Allison Robicell’s Brie, Cranberry and Prosciutto Bites for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Everyone has a soft spot in his or her heart for canned cranberry sauce. Why not find more than one way to enjoy it? These bite-sized appetizers are a great way to give this unsung hero a chance to shine.

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AllisonRobicelli_CranberryOrangeIcedTeaSparkler_H

Allison Robicell’s Cranberry Orange Iced Tea Sparkler for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

For a fun play on bubble tea, cut some jellied cranberry sauce into “caviar,” then put a spoonful into this seasonal mocktail. The carbonation from the Italian soda will give it a lava lamp effect.

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AllisonRobicelli_BrownSugarSoyTurkeyLegs_H

Allison Robicelli's Brown Sugar-Soy Turkey Legs for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Roasting a whole bird is a chore, and Friendsgiving should be a fun, stress-free affair. Cut down on the turkey drama by roasting a pan of legs instead. Besides, everyone knows dark meat is the best part anyway. No more fighting over who gets the legs!

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AllisonRobicelli_CauliflowerMacWithBaconAndSmokedGouda_H

Allison Robicell’s Cauliflower "Mac" with Bacon and Smoked Gouda for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Swap out the pasta in macaroni and cheese for golden roasted cauliflower and you’ll be able to justify having seconds (and thirds).

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AllisonRobicelli_GreenBeanAndMushroomBreadPudding_H

Allison Robicell’s Green Bean and Mushroom Bread Pudding for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stuffing is stuffy. Replace it for Friendsgiving with a savory bread pudding that incorporates the flavor of old-fashioned green bean casserole.

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AllisonRobicelli_SourCreamAndOnionMashedPotatoes_H

Allison Robicell’s Sour Cream and Onion Mashed Potatoes for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Friendsgiving means your mom won’t yell at you for eating potato chips for dinner. These creamy mashed potatoes are loaded with sour cream and caramelized onions, then covered in potato chips for plenty of crunch. For even creamier potatoes, whip them with a hand or stand mixer, then serve with even more whole potato chips for dipping.

AllisonRobicelli_GingersnapAppleCrispWithCreamCheeseAndWalnuts_H

AllisonRobicelli_GingersnapAppleCrispWithCreamCheeseAndWalnuts_H

Allison Robicelli's Gingersnap Apple Crisp with Cream Cheese and Walnuts for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Crisps are far easier to make than pies, but just as flavorful. Macerating the apples in sugar overnight concentrates their flavor and helps them keep some of their crispness in the oven. Toasted walnuts and gooey cream cheese add an element of surprise, and an easy crust of fall’s favorite cookie will make your guests wonder why they ever bothered with pie at all.

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